Thursday, November 20, 2008

CAIN

About a year and a half ago, we had to have our yellow lab put to sleep. It was heart wrenching, and I was such a coward that I had to have my neighbor's husband take her, something I've regretted ever since. Wanting another animal, but not having time to properly care for a dog, we decided to adopt two kittens.


I've never been a "cat person." When I was young, my mother had a black angora named Samson who taught me to respect and sort of hate cats. I find their unpredictability disturbing and I don't really like anything that poops in a box, especially a box which I have to clean every day. But they can be cuddly in the wintertime and I was missing having an animal, so I decided to take the plunge into cat "ownership" (as if!).


Upon arriving at the pound, I was disappointed to find they only had two cats "ready to go." If I was going to do this, I didn't need time to talk myself out of it. Unfortunately, one of the little buggers was off getting de-buggered, but I took him sight unseen after the hunky dogcatcher/poundkeeper assured me he was a nice kitty. The other feline was there but he was already over three months old and looked like a full grown cat next to the newly-weaned precious babies with whom he was housed. I tried to approach him, he hissed and ran away. Hunky dogcatcher assured me he really was a great cat but needed a firm and gentle approach; he demonstrated this for me on frightened feline (and for a minute I wished myself a cat) and I could hear this cat purring even as he looked at me in terror. I'm sure my head was muddled from standing so near perfect poundkeeper, but I giggled and agreed to take him, too. I was to return in two days to pick up them up -- if nothing else, I'd get to see Dave (?) Doug (?) Mike (?) again...


Two days later, after much primping and preening, I arrived at the pound to pick up my new wards. "Elvis" (the newly-castrated) was adorable and sweet and tiny. "Mikey" (the terrified hissing purring mess) was completely tense and entirely pissed off. I wrote the check, said my fond farewells to delicious dogcatcher, and off we went. The ride home was noisy (all Mikey) and sounded like I was killing a large opera singer with a butter knife.


Upon arriving home to two overly excited children, Mikey scrambled, still screaming, upstairs, under my bed, where he remained for the next four weeks. Elvis toddled out of his crate, hopped in my oldest son's lap and fell asleep.


The first order of business was names. No way in hell was I going to have two cats named Elvis and Mikey. After seriously considering Pontius and Pilate, we decided on Cain and Abel. They are half brothers, one litter apart, and their personalities seemed perfectly suited. The second order of business was to make Cain love me. I felt foolish for taking this psych case of a cat in the first place, but I also felt it would be a major accomplishment to have this creature trust me. I spent the next four weeks on my knees, squeezed half under my bed, tempting him with tuna fish (the smell of which makes me gag). I tried everything, including expensive toys. I even had my crazy neighbor (;-) come over to help. As the owner of four fairly normal cats, I thought she would be of some help. Her advice? 1. Give him a bath (yeah, right; I'm not an idiot) and 2. Just force the fucker and hold him tight and love him. She left bleeding. I even called sexy animal control officer/cat whisperer to the scene. (Seeing him on his knees in my bedroom will make the next 13 or so years well worth it). His advice? The same: gentle but firm.


Just when I was about to give him back, Cain decided to come around. It started with a small nuzzle in the middle of the night and very slowly progressed to creepy-watching-me-as-I-slept to sleeping on me (but tearing off in a fit when I awoke).


Cain is now solely MY cat and I adore him. He lives in self-imposed exile in the cellar during the day, but once those noisy kids go to bed, he is cuddled up on my lap and won't tolerate anybody touching him but me. As weird as this sounds, I count this as one of the greatest achievements of my life. And I hate cats.

12 comments:

Thatsmybike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thatsmybike said...

You can't bullshit a cat.

If a cat decides to allow you have him on your lap you have been vetted.

McCain should have put Palin & a cat in the same room for 20 minutes, might have made things closer.

Eva said...

Have you got a picture of the Hunky Dogcatcher?

More to the point, a sentence that I've always though had a lot of truth in it: Cats don't have master, they have staff.

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

WHO IS DELETING COMMENTS!?

Hi "Thatsmybike"! You must tell me all about yourself... you're such a mystery! I want to know all your views on EVERYTHING from modern art to abortion and such. It's always great to see a new face!

Ana said...

Sorry "Thatsmybike"! I was just helping Bev embed her video and accidentally commented as her. It was really "Ana." We both can't wait to hear more from you!

Ana said...

Eva -- As a public servant, you would think there would be a picture of him somewhere on the internet but I can't find anything. I'll keep looking. It's well worth it!
:-)

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

I thought I should post as ME this time! Listen If you had just given that kitten a bath, none of this would have been an issue! I stand by that. I have had lot's of cats. All of them clean, and they all love me! In fact I am going to soap one up now. So there.

Im HOT said...

I'd also like to see a picture of the dog catcher and like to know all about Thatsmybike. He's a cutie! Do you ever make to Montana?

Ana said...

Yes, Bike, I think you're a cutie, too. And if I'm HOT thinks YOU'RE hot, then it's a fact. He has good taste.

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

I just looked for Hot Dog Catcher guy photo too. My daughter has a crush on him too! I promise as soon as I find one it's so on here!
Is that a great name for a blog or what?

Hi, IM Hot!

Im HOT said...

Hi Bev,

I just left a comment on your ons Blog about the purty picture you wrote about.

pulpexploder said...

Psycho cats make for the best blog material, as is evidenced by the fact that I have one and my Cats section is larger than any other section on my blog. Also, the next time someone tells you a story about how their dog threw up on the bed, you can say, "Well, MY CAT turned an animal-loving neighbor into a gun-toting, paranoid militia woman!"